<![CDATA[WENDYMURRAYDIETITIAN.CO.UK - Blog]]>Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:56:06 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Ditch the Diet Part 2]]>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:57:11 GMThttp://wendymurraydietitian.co.uk/blog/ditch-the-diet-part-2
My last blog on Ditch the Diet focussed on why it is good to stop dieting but if you have been dieting on and off for years it is probably not an easy concept to get your head around. Ditching the diet is the first step in the non-diet approach to health and although first it may be one you have to keep coming back to as you address the other areas in the non-diet approach.  Diet Culture is everywhere from every form of media, medical professions and to top it all it is often a huge topic of conversation around the lunch table.   None of the steps you take with ditching the diet are easy to begin with until you really let go of the dieting mentality and start to see it for what it really is and this can take time. Within this article I hope to give you some ideas on ditching the diet and possible stumbling blocks however once you get started you will probably discover more for yourself and ways to change.

Some steps to consider include:-

Give your weighing scales to your local charity shop don’t just put them on top of your wardrobe or in a cupboard because you might just bring them out in a weak moment.

Deciding not to go back to your local slimming group class even this can be difficult as a lot of friendships are made here with and the shared goal of getting into smaller clothes is a difficult to break. Perhaps you need to look for other groups to join perhaps a hobby or a fun exercise class like line dancing or salsa.

Stop counting calories, points, sins, and units.  Choose food because you like it and don’t fool yourself into always going for the low fat or low carbohydrate option and pretend it’s about health and not weight.   The focus on healthy nutrition has to come after you have been able to stop dieting and eat mainly for hunger and fullness and satisfaction. This is to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not just another weight loss diet.

Look at the ways you are getting dieting information is it in magazines or on the Television or is it all over your social media. Initially stop buying the magazines or watching the programmes and don’t like or follow  the new diet ideas on social media as they will try and lure you back with the last diet you will need as it will be so easy and flexible!!!. It’s just another diet and if you have tried a lot then don’t be dragged in again.

You can’t ban your friends from talking about their latest diets but try and change the topic so as not to get dragged in to how well they are doing and how well you might do.
If you get stuck, review all the times you have been on diet. Look at how long they lasted and how the weight returned again each time and how often you felt it was your fault and perhaps think about what you might have been doing instead.

It can help to join a group with likeminded people to get support or to see a dietitian who specialises in this approach.  If interested why not check out the services I offer and if not sure contact me to find out if this approach may help you.  
<![CDATA[Ditch the diet Part 1]]>Thu, 03 Jan 2019 14:28:28 GMThttp://wendymurraydietitian.co.uk/blog/ditch-the-diet-part-1
​How often this month have you already heard the phrase New Year New You with some form of dieting or exercise to lose weight programme attached. It’s everywhere you look from television, magazines and social media this is the time of year to make resolutions and one of the most common ones appears to be about becoming a different person and usually involves losing weight in some form or other. The implication is also there that unless you lose the weight you will not be ok and if you follow the latest diet plan and /or exercise programme you will lose weight and be OK and if not, then you didn’t try hard enough.

It’s not that simple if it was we would all be the same size.  However that is not the case and when you get down to it there is no research anywhere that shows  long term success for weight loss for anybody other than a very small percentage of people. In fact the research shows that when people lose weight the majority have the weight back on within a year and most of the rest within 5 years.  There is also evidence that a lot of these dieters end up heavier than they started and many dieters end up with anxiety and depression.  There has to be a better way to feel good about yourself and look after your health.

There is and it’s the non-diet way, now many people talk about this but those that give the impression that you will lose weight on this method are just pedalling another form of dieting in disguise.  I am not saying nobody loses weight this way some do and some don’t but the way this works is to take dieting and weight loss off the agenda for good. I can hear your cry, “but I need to lose weight for my health, to look good and to let others know I am an OK person”. However the non-diet method, which goes under a variety of names including Well Now and Intuitive eating, has been shown to help people’s health by increasing self-esteem and body satisfaction and can also lead to eating a healthier diet not focusing on cutting out food groups or indeed focusing on eating a set amount of portions as it is based on your appetite and satisfaction which is not the same every day.

So if you struggle with yo yo dieting, perhaps with poor body satisfaction and feel it’s your fault for not being able to keep to the diet it’s maybe time to try another approach. When choosing be careful to pick a programme that doesn’t have  losing weight as one of the goals because whatever approach it is calling itself e.g. healthy eating, wellbeing course, boot camp or even a non-diet approach if losing weight is seen as one of the primary outcomes it is just a another diet.  One thing to bear in mind for this or any time of year is be gentle on yourself and your body.  You are always good enough.

<![CDATA[Healthy Eating Part 2]]>Sun, 04 Nov 2018 15:12:57 GMThttp://wendymurraydietitian.co.uk/blog/healthy-eating-part-2Picture

​From part 1 I hope I have established that healthy eating is when you
Mostly eat for hunger and fullness
Eat for satisfaction
Eat a wide variety of foods
Enjoy the social aspects of eating

Although, I believe that all food if chosen to   eat for the above reasons fits into a healthy diet,  it is still good to have a plan to help increase the variety.  One of the main reasons when eating in this way is to eat for hunger and satisfaction and therefore when thinking about meals the 3 main food groups to consider first are those that provide energy to the meals carbohydrate, protein and fat if only one of these is at a meal it often leads to less satisfaction than if all 3 elements are present as each plays a slightly different role in satiety with carbohydrate foods giving bulk to diet and helping to abate hunger initially. Protein helps satiety last slightly longer and fat even longer, another benefit I find from having some fat added is it gives improved flavour. If you want to read a little more on the satiety value of different nutrients then check out  Ellyn Satter in her book ‘Secrets of feeding a healthy family which gives a great explanation of satiety in the appendix. Sometimes you may wish to have a meal that contains only 2 of these groups but generally this will leave you less satisfied and ready for your next meal sooner. The carbohydrate foods include the starchy foods like pasta, bread, potatoes, rice and other grains and sugars.  The protein foods include meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, beans and can also include cheese. The fat group includes cream, spreadable fats like butter, oils including olive, sunflower and rapeseed and foods that contain fats such as fat on meat, oily fish, nuts, cheese and avocados.

When you are reading this you might be thinking that’s all very well but surely you shouldn’t be eating some foods as they have no value and might cause harm an example of this may be saturated fat in your diet as health guidelines  often link it to heart disease and there are good fats that are better for you. Just   remember there are no good and bad foods its variety that counts and food pleasure is important to health also.  So to answer the fat question even if I believed all the guidelines and portion controls were appropriate there is nowhere that it says that you should cut out saturated fat but rather it should be reduced.  So if you follow the variety principle and use a variety of different fats to cook with and add to food and indeed increase the variety of foods that contain different fats then you overall will reduce the amount of saturated fat without feeling any deprivation. The same can be said for any nutrient you consider to be bad by increasing the variety of foods you eat and using a variety of ways to prepare foods you will be decreasing the overall amount of any one nutrient.
After considering carbohydrate, protein and fat then to increase variety it is good to ensure that you add the remaining food groups to your meals these are dairy and fruit and vegetables.
Other things to consider when planning meals as well as the above food groups and what texture, temperature and tastes you want  is how long do you want to take to prepare your meals. On some occasions you might decide I have all the time in the world at others it might be I want it now.  So it’s good to have a large repertoire of ideas that meet all your requirements.
How do you go about getting your ideas together? Well it is often just a case of trying new foods, new cooking methods, and new recipes a little at a time.
I find that with any changes I am make for myself and my family it is better if they are  small    and spaced out.  I often like to try out new recipe ideas alongside family favourites and even trying out old favourites that have fallen by the wayside as new meals have come to the fore but throughout it all I have found the most satisfaction and satiety at meals are those that contain the 3 main energy giving groups.
So why not get started enjoying your meals but at the same time trying out new foods and ideas.  There are so many ideas out there to try but you may wish to check out my facebook page  wendymurraydietitian over the next few weeks as I am going to share some of the cooking ideas I have collected over the years.  They might get you started on trying out some of your own. 

<![CDATA[Healthy Eating and satisfaction Part 1]]>Sun, 28 Oct 2018 10:58:46 GMThttp://wendymurraydietitian.co.uk/blog/healthy-eating-and-satisfaction-part-1
  If you are expecting a blog about portion sizes and what foods to avoid this piece might disappoint. However I believe that food plays a very important role in our lives most of which is little to do with so called healthy and unhealthy foods.  Food is used in our lives to bring people together families and friends for social occasions, it is there at most celebrations in life from birth right through to death and everything in between. It also acts as a source of comfort think of how a bowl of soup or a hot chocolate on a cold miserable looking day tastes and makes us feel.  It can be a way to show people you care and a way of showing love think of the saying, a way to  man’s heart  is through his  stomach.  And we can’t forget the cup of tea that fixes everything.  Yes if food is the only thing you turn to when life is hard then  that is not so good or if the only thing your man loves you for are your cooking skills I would look for someone else, never the less food is essential for our health and happiness.

 Nutrition does play a part in our health but I believe in today’s world   of social media and so many people calling themselves health bloggers with little in the way of any nutrition qualifications it can become very divisive. Many so called health bloggers and foodies are promoting their particular 'strict, healthy diet' which if you follow    promises you will achieve their look, usually extreme thinness disguised as health.  Often these diets leave out whole food groups and promote a diet that is not nutritionally sound and can lead to even more body dissatisfaction. This can leave people thinking if they eat something that is deemed not healthy then they are to blame for all the ills that fall upon them and they might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and this attitude also leads to people thinking if it is healthy it mustn’t be as nice as unhealthy food. 

I think a change in thinking about health and food is required and rather than thinking about how few portions of this you are allowed and how many of that we should instead be trying to vary our food as much as we can. If all someone ate was a diet of chips, chocolate and crisps then it would be deemed a poor diet but equally if all someone ate was pears, peaches and pineapple then that wouldn’t be good either so I think when you eat mostly by listening and tuning in to what your body wants then sometimes it might be chocolate but sometime it might be peaches.  The key is variety.

When you start to look at the foods you eat each week do you include a lot of variety or do you stick to the same foods week in week out. Sometimes it’s good to look for little changes to do each week throw a different vegetable into your shopping basket look online for a tasty way to cook some fish. Perhaps you have tried different foods and meals over the years but have got stuck in a rut. Healthy eating is about having meals that bring you pleasure and leave you satisfied and meet your needs in terms of fullness but should also include connections with your family and friends. For the majority of us that is all healthy eating is.  However  a small percentage of people will require further dietary advice because they have a specific health condition that needs help examples of this include coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. This dietary advice should always come from a Dietitian as these are the people who are qualified to offer medical dietary advice.  In the UK these will be registered with the HCPC who are there to ensure that the health professional meets their standards and keeps the public safe. if you are  considering seeking advice from someone why not check out the online register.  
But for the rest it’s just about enjoying a wide variety of foods and eating mainly for hunger and fullness and satisfaction. Eating in this way is not about giving up on your health rather its about putting food and health in context which will help you make more choices about food variety and less guilt. If not keen on vegetables’ perhaps look at new ways of cooking them or adding them to casseroles. If you don’t eat fish ask yourself why? And perhaps look at ways to try some. If you’re someone who has tried to cut out whole food groups perhaps it’s time for a rethink. 

<![CDATA[Christmas is coming]]>Sun, 30 Sep 2018 08:38:01 GMThttp://wendymurraydietitian.co.uk/blog/christmas-is-coming

​​I know, way too early to think about Christmas we haven’t even had Halloween yet.  But everywhere you look the shops are getting ready for it  and people who often worried about their weight  have got the next reason to worry, Christmas, and how they have let themselves go in the summer now it’s time to get back on track for those nights out and getting together with friends and family.  This may or may not be you perhaps you feel  you are one of the lucky ones because you have come across a diet that is working and you are in the confident phase of seeing some weight loss which is making you feel good about yourself and delighting in complements about how good you look and you in telling everyone who will listen that they should give it a go.  Chronic dieters generally fall somewhere in a continuum between these 2 groups at one end feeling shame and disgust at themselves but they continue trying and retrying because the feelings they get during the diet going well at the other end makes everything feel wonderful and life fantastic and they know that this feeling will last forever and they will  never need to start another  diet again, until they do.

Constantly  going from  high to low feelings about your body and your worth can be quite exhausting and, worse than that it can, over time, work to reduce your self-esteem and self-worth both of these being entrenched in how thin you look as well being the possible cause of other health problems like raised blood pressure, cholesterol, gallstones, osteoporotic fractures and coronary heart disease to name a few. But what’s the alternative.  Perhaps it might be time to consider cutting out the lows.  I know you might think, but this time it’s going to work and the feelings I get from being thinner are going to last because I won’t put on weight. I have the willpower because this diets so easy.
Before you read on ask yourself. 
How many years have I been on a diet?
How long did I stay at my ideal weight in that time? 
How did I feel when I fell off the diet? 
Wouldn’t it be good not to have those lows and start to feel you are ok no matter what?

From a biological point of view your body is built to maintain weight not lose weight and it will adapt to help prevent weight loss. Research shows that weight loss leads to a reduction in metabolism which helps to ensure weight is regained and many people not only regain weight but they get heavier. If you have spent a number of years dieting and have always ended up back where you started or weighing even more and you just want to make changes to help you feel good more of the time and  also have the added bonus of  improving your health as you go. Perhaps it is time to make peace with all food and claim back your self-worth.  Stopping dieting does not mean you are giving up on yourself or your body it just means that you are going to stop the diet cycle that may well have led you to having low self-worth and the belief that some foods are so powerful you have to avoid them making them even more powerful.

  Give another way a chance by setting goals to feel good and improve your self-care, which in turn can help improve your self-worth and ultimately your health. This option is not a quick fix, like the promises from the diet culture out there, but if you have spent the last 5-20 years on a diet what is 12 months from now. Coming up to Christmas 2019 or Halloween 2019 how do you want to be feeling?  Do you want to feel good or treated because you have made a lasting change for you self-worth or tricked into another diet that has left you a year older but still on that continuum. 

So why not make a start right now
Start to listen to your body signals for hunger and fullness and noticing how different foods leave you feeling satisfied
Give yourself permission to eat all food
Listen to you internal dialogue around food and when diet rules come up challenge them
Start to plan for all aspects of health care including sleep, having fun, relaxation, work load, physical activity and treating yourself with kindness.

If you would like to try this way but not sure how to get started why not contact me for an appointment.